Uber and Hyundai have unveiled their jointly developed air taxi prototype

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Testing of the electric-powered vehicle, which can carry four people at a top speed of almost three hundred kilometers per hour, will begin this year. It is planned that the model, now called S-A1, will be launched in three years.

In addition to the passengers, an pilot will initially sit in the 100-kilometer-long plane, designed primarily for urban transport, but will later become fully self-driving. The designers also paid attention to safety, the rotors could replace each other in the event of a failure, and a parachute could also be placed in the cab.

When can we go by taxi?

Morgan Stanley estimated last year that air taxis would be more than a trillion dollars in business in twenty years, so more and more companies are trying to gain a foothold in the sector. U.S. aircraft giant Boeing is co-developing a capable electric car with Volkswagen Group sports brand Porsche, and China’s Geely has bought a stake in a promising German startup, Volocopter.

However, experts say a working prototype is not enough, flying taxis still have a lot of challenges to answer before they can go on the market. The area, for example, is not yet legally regulated at all, and it also seems a huge task to transform the urban environment in such a way that flying vehicles can travel safely. The Financial Times quotes a Korean expert as saying it will take at least another seven to eight years for the first flying taxis to show up on the streets.

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